Daddies Gone Wild win inaugural Rim Rock relay race

Photo by Gretel Daugherty—Relay runner Jeff Dykstra of Edina, Minn., looks up and points to the sky as he crosses the finish line, the second person to do so at the Rim Rock Marathon. Dykstra, a Grand Junction native, ran as the last leg of the three-man team Daddies Gone Wild.

When the Rim Rock Marathon added a relay event, Jeff Dykstra quickly assembled his team.

The Daddies Gone Wild team, which won the 174-mile Colorado Relay race, was set to go.

“I grew up running on the monument,” Dykstra said. “We heard about this and thought it would be a fun race.

“We originally had my brother-in-law, then he couldn’t come, so Alan (Belshaw) jumped in.”

The three-person team won the first Rim Rock Marathon relay event through Colorado National Monument in 2 hours, 45 minutes, 26 seconds. Dykstra was the second runner to cross the finish line behind the men’s overall winner, Dustin Simoens.

The team of fathers are brothers and friends. Belshaw and Craig Heacock are friends. Heacock and Dykstra are step-brothers.

Belshaw, 43, of Steamboat Springs was on the original Daddies Gone Wild relay team. He ran the first leg, climbing 1,500 feet to Red Canyon Overlook. Heacock, 43, who grew up in Grand Junction and lives in Fort Collins, ran the second and third legs on top. Dykstra, 40, of Edina, Minn., finished the last leg.

The first leg was a 6.8-mile, 1,500-foot climb in elevation. The second leg was 6.3 miles, the third leg was 6.5 miles and the fourth leg downhill was 6.6 miles.

“I’m coming from the low altitude so I did the downhill,” Dykstra said.

The Jedi Bunnies took second in 3:16:26. The next team, consisting of Nan Keith Fratef, Tom Ela, Elizabeth Schnittker and D Plunkett, was third in 3:43:09.

The husband and wife team of Derek and Hannah Bihr and Jason and Megan Alstatt placed sixth in 4:08:19.

“It was beautiful,” Megan Alstatt said. “I didn’t realize how much I climbed until I came back down. I thought, ‘My gosh, I climbed that?’ “

It was a rewarding experience for the Got Vino team as well, finishing eighth in 4:15:13.

“I’ve always wanted to do it and this was the only way for me to do it,” 43-year-old Andrea Santo said. “I had back surgery two years ago.”

Santo ran the second leg. Shannon Koch, 36, ran the first leg. Anna Jensen, 44, ran the third and Kari Mullaney, 38, had the final leg.

“Anna and I being the tribal elders took the top,” Santo said. “It’s great. I’m so excited to be a part of it.”

Mullaney agreed, as long as she could have the downhill leg.

“I don’t do hills,” she said.


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